Custom made "sleeves" OK? Re-usable?

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by stopitaggers, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. stopitaggers

    stopitaggers New Member

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    Jan 14, 2012
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    Hi, expert opinion on this would be much appreciated.

    I would like to block out ambient noise when commuting/flying etc. Wax ear plugs only muffle the sound a bit. Next step was "in-ear" Sennheisers but I must have small ear canals as even the smallest of the 3 rubber adapters supplied were too big to fit in my ear canals.

    On googling I see that custom made in-ear plugs are available but I can't afford/won't pay £500-600 (!). There are also some "sleeves" costing £80-£90 which I would stretch to but before paying what is still, for me, a lot of money I would like to know what you guys reckon. Do these things work? Are they effectively finished when the headphones used with them break or can new phones be bought and the same sleeves used with the replacement phones? Do they cancel out enough noise to mean irritating mobile phone shouters can't be heard?

    All advice gratefully received.
     
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Hi stopitaggers,

    Although some earplugs are more effective than others there is a theoretical maximum for the amount of noise which can be stopped. The figure of a 40db drop is passed around but I am sure this differs from person to person. Although this is a considerable drop, it will not stop loud noises from making it through.

    The reason for this is that your whole body conducts vibration, your skull is even helpfully designed to direct noise toward the internal workings of your ear. This is why putting your fingers in your ears doesn't stop external noise as well as leaving the room (or standing in a cupboard), when you leave a room you are in effect isolating your whole body instead of only blocking a head cavity.

    Although active noise cancelling can remove a very large quantity of noise from the surrounding environment it works best on constant low frequency drones. It unfortunately doesn't work well on human voices. I am sorry to say that a big stick is still the best weapon against irritating mobile phone shouters but a combination of really good physical isolation and electronic noise cancellation.
     
  3. stopitaggers

    stopitaggers New Member

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    Thanks Robin, very interesting.

    Sorry to come back but could you please clarify one thing? If the headphones break can new phones be inserted into the "sleeves" or is it a question of when the phones break you have to throw the sleves away as well? I know nothing about how these things are put together but if the phones are permanently attached to the sleeves so that they are effectively one item then when the phones break then presumably the sleeves have to be discarded as well.

    I think the sleeves cost about £90 which is a lot if they have to be binned when the phones they are with break down.

    Sorry if that's not clear, thanks for your help.
     
  4. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    The sleeves will fit the same model (if your headphone becomes faulty) and may fit models from the same range if they have have identical housing.:)
     
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